Fun with Food

I love eating! I especially love eating in the off-season because it allows me to be more flexible and creative.

I know most of you are totally aware of this fact already, but I truly do love to eat. I love everything about food – from grocery shopping, searching for new recipes, to cooking, and baking healthy desserts or snacks. While my outlook on food has changed a lot since competing, I still love everything about it, but have to practice more self-control than I used to.

I have had a few requests to know what my personal meal plan looks like. I always tell people that I would never give details of my competition prep diet because it’s not realistic for people to follow – it’s used for a short-term purpose only. But, now that I’m entering my off-season, I thought I would make an effort to share some of my meals over the next couple of months – the good, the bad, and the REALLY unhealthy stuff (this is what people enjoy the most, right?)

To be honest, most of my days look like this, or close to it:

A highlight - caramel rice cakes with PB & no sugar added jam, and half a banana sliced on top. When my alarm goes off at 4;15, this is what excites me to get out of bed faster. Pre-workout magic mix in my BB shaker cup to wash it down. Let's be honest, I usually eat more than one of these.

A highlight – caramel rice cakes with PB & no sugar added jam, and half a banana sliced on top. When my alarm goes off at 4;15, this is what excites me to get out of bed faster. Pre-workout magic mix in my BB shaker cup to wash it down. Let’s be honest, I usually eat more than one of these.

My breakfast every single day, without fail. Egg whites, oats, and blueberries cooked together in a large pan, then broken up in the container. Topped with Walden Farms syrup and enjoyed in our fancy break room at work. With a large Tim Horton's tea, also a breakfast requirement.

My breakfast every single day, without fail. Egg whites, oats, and blueberries cooked together in a large pan, then broken up in the container. Topped with Walden Farms syrup and enjoyed in our fancy break room at work. With a large Tim Horton’s tea, also a breakfast requirement.

Meals 2 - 4 everyday: chicken and rice, ground turkey and sweet potato, fish and green beans. A few variations here and there, but this is the basis of each and every day.

Meals 2 – 4 everyday: chicken and rice, ground turkey and sweet potato, fish and green beans. A few variations here and there, but this is the basis of each and every day.

I follow these guidelines in terms of my daily eating habits:

  1. Eat 5 or 6 times a day (including my post-workout shake as a meal).
  2. Each meal includes a balance of protein and carbs, some meals have healthy fats (not many because I’ve learned my body doesn’t do well with them).
  3. I’m up and have breakfast eaten by 7am at the latest EVERY day. This helps keep my other meals on track.
  4. Refeed / cheat meals are strategically placed around big workouts so they’re beneficial.
  5. I’ll snack here and there, but I’m mindful of it and my portions are small. I also make sure to keep healthy homemade options stocked so these are my go-to choices. And peanut butter, because it’s a necessity.
  6. 95% of my food is measured, weighed, and packed to go each day all week. I work a desk job Monday – Friday, so this is the only option for me if I want to keep my progress on track (and not be hungry all day). That other 5% is reserved for cravings and special meals with Kyle and friends.
  7. On that note, weekends are great because I can have a little more fun with my meals and cook them at home (provided we’re around the house). If we’re away or going out for most of the day, I make sure to bring what I need.
  8. I make a point to bring “back-ups” such as a serving of protein powder or a Quest bar if I’m going out during the day, just in case. Always be prepared!

I’m going to make the effort to document meals throughout my offseason, especially on the weekends when I make more interesting dishes.  However, that being said, they’re still essentially the same meals, just cooked fresh and a little more “fancy”… if you can call sautéed chicken and vegetables fancy. I do.

These are some of my fancy meals from last week:

Healthy pancake as a fun meal on a weekend. Topped with chopped pear, Walden Farms syrup and FF whipped topping. By far, one of my favorite meals.

Healthy pancake as a fun meal on a weekend. Topped with chopped pear, Walden Farms syrup and FF whipped topping. By far, one of my favorite meals.

Healthy, balanced pizza! So happy to bring this type of meal back into my life. Naan bread base, salsa / hot sauce base, chicken breast, red onions, spring mix, and cottage cheese. Broil in the oven until heated through (or you can't wait any longer) and EAT.

Healthy, balanced pizza! So happy to bring this type of meal back into my life. Naan bread base, salsa / hot sauce combo, chicken breast, red onions, spring mix, and cottage cheese. Broil in the oven until heated through (or you can’t wait any longer) and EAT.

I’m also going to make a better effort of writing out recipes as I’m baking so I can share stuff with you. I’m in the terrible habit of spontaneously baking stuff when I’m bored, and it never crosses my mind to write things down… I just throw things into a bowl, into the oven, and hope for the best.

I’ll throw more pics of meals into my posts throughout the off-season, and will explain what they are so you can try them out. If you have any questions about quantities or how to make them, just let me know & I can give more details.  Happy, healthy eating! We’re eating to grow now!

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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